Canberra’s Second Zero Emissions School To Open In 2021

zero emissions school - Canberra

Image: Yvette Berry MLA via Facebook

The ACT Government has announced the builder of the Territory’s second zero-emissions school, and says detailed design work for construction has already begun.

Joss Construction Pty Ltd has been engaged to deliver the project in two stages. The first stage will be a P-6 school catering for up to 644 students and the second stage a 7-10 school, which will cater for 600 students.

Construction of the new school in Molonglo Valley is expected to start  this year to be ready for operation for the start of the 2021 school year. Molonglo Valley is a greenfields development in the ACT that is expected accommodate approximately 55,000 residents over the coming decades.

The as-yet unnamed school will incorporate various energy efficiency technologies in addition to the use of onsite generation of renewables, assumed to include solar energy, to support the ACT’s target of zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. There will certainly be plenty of roof space to accommodate solar panels, so it will be interesting to see how much capacity is installed.

The ACT’s first zero-emissions school was Margaret Hendry School in the suburb of Taylor. Among its features is a 100kW solar power system and electric-boosted solar hot water.

“The ACT is leading the nation in climate action and school infrastructure is one way that the government can make a big difference towards reducing carbon emissions on behalf of the Canberra community,” said part of a statement attributed to Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry MLA.

ACT On Target For 100% Renewables

All 88 public schools in the Territory have rooftop solar panels, totaling 2.356MW of capacity; so that averages out to around 27kW each. While the total capacity isn’t enough to supply equivalent electricity requirements of all schools, the Territory’s Government has a target of sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2020 from within its boundaries or the National Electricity Market (NEM).

The Australia Institute said last week the Territory is set to become the first major jurisdiction (population 100,000+) outside Europe to transition from a fossil fuel-based supply to 100% renewables-based electricity. It’s expected the ACT will meet its 100% renewable electricity target by 1 January 2020, and likely even before.

ACT residents have also jumped on the renewable energy bandwagon, although not to the same degree as in most other states and territories. According to APVI, approximately 15.6% of dwellings in the ACT had solar panels installed as at June this year.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.


  1. “ACT that is expected accommodate”-are you going back to one of these schools or do you think you are in america?

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